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Caerus Artists, you’re invited to a “Duet Dialogue”– a painting in response to a film.  Please consider joining me on Monday, September 17 at the Sixth Street Playhouse, 6-8 PM, Santa Rosa to see “Upside Down,” a wonderful Indian film.   Upside Down plays at 8PM and Broken Tail,  with a collage by excellent artist Gerald Huth, plays at 6:45.  The reception is free, but the films require an admission ticket.  The painting will be featured as part of the film evening, and I’ll be giving a short artist talk.

How to create a painting from a film? I used traditional “Warli” folk patterns of the tree of life, goatherd and goats, birds, and stars near the top.  You can see some of these patterns painted on the village houses in “Upside Down.”  This ancient style of painting with rice flour pigment on walls represents Nandu’s village life.  The bottom erupts into chaotic circus themes: tigers, clowns, and a hidden elephant head.  I lived in Bangalore, India for three years, and the blue/turquoise colors, combined with the bright oranges and pinks, are very Indian.

And here’s my film review:

Nandu, a naive village child and son of a poor laborer, cannot go to school with his classmates, but hears from his friend about a circus in Mumbai.  His father sacrifices to send him on the long bus journey to Mumbai with his uncle and a friend– the trip of the lifetime to see the circus. We watch the carnival of urban India through the innocent eyes of a child. Nandu’s world is turned upside down, with a surprise twist at the end.

This is a charming film shows the life of an impoverished family without sentimentality and without undue drama, which is very rare.  Nandu’s family struggles daily for food, but they share a rich family life in their village. It is a very unusual Indian film, as it strikes a quiet note against India’s often- frantic modernization, and meditatively contrasts an ancient agricultural lifestyle with the 21st century.  This independent film would be unusual even in India; one could call it an Indie Indie.  The cinematography is excellent:  we see the world from the level of a child, through the legs of a cow, up in a tree, the reality of the Indian village schoolroom, and the wide, surprisingly empty landscapes that surround his home.

Enjoy the Santa Rosa International Film Festival. Visit http://www.sriff.org/ for more film festival information, and see another review from a Santa Rosa juror at http://haltichitre.blogspot.in/2012/09/santa-rosa-festival-juror-all-praise.html.

Caerus Notes: Here are  few upcoming events from Suzanne at Saltworkstudio.

  • Mon, Sept. 17, 8PM               Upside Down at 6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa
  • Fri., Oct. 5, 5-8 PM                 Dionysia Opening Reception, Paintings, Wine Emporium, Sebastopol, with music by Johnny Harper, hot American roots guitarist
  • Sat., Nov. 17, 6-9 PM             New Saltworkstudio Warming Party, Winterblast, Back Street Gallery, SofA District, Santa Rosa

Suzanne Edminster